Food has become so easily accessible for most of us these days, but what about the quality of the food that we are eating on a daily basis. Most of what we eat today has been processed, meaning it is lacking in nutrients and has a lot of ingredients added that are probably more harmful than good to our health.
Weight gain is a major problem for a lot of people in today’s world, this is due to the processed food that we have become so accustomed to consuming. Being overweight is a burden, it makes people self conscious about their appearance, but that’s not the only burden you face if you are overweight, being over-weight and obese has an negative effect on your health, over time it can lead to disease.
Losing some excess weight is probably one of the best things you can do to help improve your health, it actually may not be as difficult as you might think, just by losing weight you can help solve many other ailments that go hand in hand. Here we will have a look at the 5 best foods for weight loss.
Leafy greens are the most nutrient rich of all food, the majority of calories in leafy greens are from protein and are packed with phytochemicals which are very beneficial for your health and wellbeing. Leafy greens are very low in calories while they are high in nutrients, also they are known for reduced rates of diabetes, heart disease and numerous other health conditions.
Another beneficial compound found in leafy greens is carotenoids, an antioxidant pigment, as well as promoting good vision it is known for having anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits, it is also known for helping to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Cruciferous vegetables such as bok choy, kale and cabbage as well as other non-green cruciferous vegetables contain some amazing benefits for preventing disease. Chopping, chewing, juicing or blending these vegetables releases a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs) a compound that has been shown to protect against cancer growth.
We should aim to eat from the cruciferous group of vegetables everyday, the powerful anti-cancer fighting affects of these vegetables should be enough for us to indulge in such food. These vegetables are tremendous for weightloss, because they are low in calories and high in nutrients you can eat as much as you like and still lose weight.
When some think of green leafy vegetables they associate them with having no taste and maybe a bit bland, well that’s probably because they are so used of eating rich processed food that has lots of sugar and other chemicalized flavourings, that their taste buds have been some-what misguided. Frequent consumption of those vegatables will help get your taste buds back to normal again and give you back your natural senses.
Beans are a real superfood, they are high in protein and carbohydrate which means they are filling, they will keep you full for longer while feeling satisified. Beans come in many varieties, they are full of polyphenols and phytonutrients which has numerous health benefits. Also they give you a nice colour in your skin when you consume them regularly, this colour is helpful in giving your skin a protective element which will help prevent skin damage when exposed to the sun.
If your goal is to lose weight as well as to improve your overall health then beans are a superfood that you should be consuming on a regular basis. Beans have resistant starch which is a type of carbohydrate that doesn’t get obsorbed as calories, it gets turned into fat far down in your digestive tract which means that 90% of the calories in beans passes throuhgh your system.
The 10% of those fatty acids that are obsorbed from beans have beneficial effect in lowering the GI (glycemic index) of other foods you eat later. This is accomplished when you eat beans regularly, you build up a beneficial bacteria in your bowel that slows the glucose obsorption of other foods. This is known as the second meal effect, but in actual fact it not only works for the second meal but for all meals you eat. Once you have built up the beneficial bacteria from eating beans regularly then this will help with all other food you eat.
There are many types of beans, chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, soy beans, black turtle beans, pinto beans to name just some of what is an excellent underrated superfood. Consuming beans regularly will ensure you are getting great protein, nutrition and all the goodness the body needs from a true superfood.
Nuts, natures finest. There is a belief that nuts are fattening but in fact they can have the opposite effect and aid with weight loss. It’s probably because nuts have a high fat content that they are considered to be fattening, but in actual fact there are different types of fat, nuts contain beneficial fat and are loaded with micronutrients, (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals.)
Even when trying to lose weight you should not avoid nuts, although you should not over-eat on them because they are high in calories, you should consume an amount that reflects your level of activity. If you are active and working out daily then the extra calories from nuts will be beneficial.
Micronutrients can be found in abundance in seeds, including:
- Phytosterols which aids lowering LDL chosterol
- Arginine – an amino acid (aids in weight loss)
Studies have shown that regular consumption of nuts and seeds lead to longevity, when eaten as part of a healthy lifestyle. Also a reduction of diseases such as heart disease and cancers has been seen from regular consumption of nuts and seeds.
High in nutrients, fiber, phytochemicals and low in calories makes berries a real superfood. Anthocyanins which are flavonoid antioxidant molecules that produces the pigment responsible for giving berries their colour such as red, blue and purple have numerous beneficial factors for the body.
A regular consumption of berries have shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, just three or more servings of berries per week, such as blueberries or strawberries has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease compared to those who consume less. Just one serving of blueberries per week has benefits of lowering blood pressure by 10%.
Overall studies have shown that berries have possible protective elements on the cardiovascular system, like helping to reduce or eleminate oxidative stress, decreased oxidation of LDL, increase blood antioxidant capicity improve lipid levels and blood glucose. Berries have also shown in further studies to reduce inflammation.
Berries are delicious when purchased and consumed fresh, but frozen berries are probably an even better option. I say this because frozen berries are probably fresher as they are frozen when picked and will keep until needed. When I make breakfast to bring to work in the morning, usually porridge with flaxseed and maybe banana, I then put frozen berries on top and take it to work in a container. I might consume this a couple of hours later, by that time the berries are just thawed out and it tastes delicious and fresh.
I hope this has given you some great insight into the best foods for weightloss, and hopefully will entice you to change your food behaviour. You now know the benefits of those 5 foods listed above and as you will see they are not just beneficial for weightloss, they have many other health benefits.
While the foods listed above will aid with weightloss, this is only one of the advantages of consuming those foods on a regular basis. All of the 5 foods we have discussed have many befeficial properties for helping to keep you in optium health. Losing weight is important, even more so is knowing that you are doing all that you can to keep disease at bay and keep your body in the best possible shape as the years roll on.
I hope you have taken some usful information from this article, if you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic please leave your comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts!